Nip Trips: Tiny cocktails for big outings


It used to be that nips, or small bottles of alcohol amounting to roughly one-and-a-half ounces, were something for people just looking for a cheap, quick buzz – or looting a hotel minibar. More and more, however, the nip world has become more fanciful and interesting. 

I started to notice the rise of craft nips pre-COVID when adorable bottles of Fernet Branca and Campari were just too cute to not purchase. Then, when we went into lockdown, my friends and I purchased more nips than ever. We would meet in a park and toast at a distance with our nip of choice. Now, as we approach that time of year when we can rejoin nature without the fear of hypothermia, the nip culture reemerges for new possibilities! 

Bringing a couple of nips with you on a picnic can be more than a shot. If you can find a nip of sweet vermouth, you can easily make a Manhattan. A classic Manhattan recipe is Manhattan’s area code of 212: two ounces of bourbon, one ounce of sweet vermouth, and two dashes of Angostura Bitters. So when you’re in the great outdoors and without a jigger, you can make yourself a large Manhattan with two bottles of bourbon and one sweet vermouth. And yes, they do make teeny tiny Angostura Bitters as well. Those bottles are about 0.12 ounces and are perfect for one-time use, so bring a cube for stirring (every cocktail has half an ounce of water in it) and pour yourself an easy Manhattan for your picnic!

And if you can find sweet vermouth, it’s worth making yourself a Negroni. Negronis are equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. So as long as you have bottles that are the same size, you can pour all of them in your glass with a cube and have one of the most famous classic cocktails of all time. You can go the extra mile by packing yourself an orange to enjoy on your walk. Express the orange peel over your Negroni and thank me later. 

So next time you’re planning an outing with a picnic or time to just chill, consider bringing along some nips to enhance the experience! Especially if the RI legislature, in its focus on really important legislative priorities, outlaws nips, which could make this a limited-time offer! (See article here)